We are extremely demanding and we don't give 'perfect 10s' but this trip was close.
Situated on the western coast of Honshu Island, diagonally northwest from Tokyo, Kanazawa is not on the radar of many foreign tourists, but it has long been a destination of choice for the Japanese themselves. The historic preservation (in some cases, recreation) of Kanazawa's samurai, geisha and merchant districts make it one of the foremost examples of life in Edo Period Japan (1603-1868).
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A frequent visitor to Japan, our General Manager Victoria Hilley loves the local food as well as petting the cute deer in Nara.
Have a private tour of a sake brewery that has been in operation for more than 200 years. Japan's most famous native alcohol, sake comes in varying grades based on the polishing of the rice; generally, the more the rice is polished, the better the quality. The spectrum of tastes spans very dry to highly fruity.
21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art
Visit the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, a landmark attraction famous both for its collection and its design. In 2010, the museum was cited by the Pritzker Prize jury in bestowing architecture’s highest accolade on Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa.
Visit a kaga yuzen silk-dying studio. Yuzen is a traditional technique of dying silks for kimonos and other garments dating to the early 18th century, and the workshop in Kanazawa is one of the most famous. Your expert guide and staff from the studio will walk you through the elaborate process of creating designs in which nature figures prominently, from pattern stenciling and painting to steaming, rinsing and drying.
Visit the Kenrokuen Garden, considered one of the “three most beautiful landscape gardens” in Japan. Located in the heart of Kanazawa, this spacious garden was in construction for over 200 years before it was open to the public in 1871. The word “kenrokuen” means “garden of six sublimities”, which refers to the six essential attributes that make up a perfect garden: spaciousness, seclusion, antiquity, abundant water, artificiality, and broad views.
Gold Leaf Workshop
Visit a gold-leaf workshop. Kanazawa is the gold-leaf capital of Japan, producing 99 percent of the product used throughout the country in arts and handicrafts (and sometimes even making it into sake!). If you wish, try your hand at making a set of gold-leaf covered chopsticks.
Have a cup of tea at Kaikaro, an exquisite 19th-century chaya, or teahouse. The building structure itself dates to the 1820s, when it was filled with nightly geisha entertainment, and the interior has been meticulously restored to its original appearance, including vermilion-laquered stairs, gold-laced tatami mats, and paintings adorning the panels of sliding doors.
Nomurake Samurai House
Visit Nomurake, a samurai residence which, like Kaikaro teahouse, has been painstakingly restored based on historical records to appear as it did during the height of the samurai in the late 16th and 17th centuries. Nomurake’s tiny landscaped garden is stunning and is often said to be among Japan’s best.
Spend time in Japan’s historic countryside on this 4-day tour of Takayama and Noto Peninsula. Admire the tranquil, mountainous surroundings, take a rickshaw ride through the “Old Town,” explore an ancient UNESCO-listed farm village, and learn the ancient art of silk kimono painting.
Discover Japan’s exciting history on this exciting 11-day luxury journey through Japan’s most fascinating age-old cities. Explore the colossal Todaiji Temple, visit ancient shrines, take an emotional tour of Hiroshima, and embrace Japan’s old world charm, while staying at some of Japan’s most luxurious hotels.
Hit the trails and paths of Kyoto’s enthralling mountains and bamboo forests to uncover the mysteries of esoteric Japan, which can be found within the 88 Buddhist temples of the Shikoku Pilgrimage. From city nights to mountain treks, you’ll experience the cultural charm and natural beauty of the countryside of Japan without compromising on luxury.
See Japan’s ancient traditions and state-of-the-art technology juxtaposed before your eyes on this fascinating 10-day luxury journey. You’ll get an insider perspective on the country with visits to everything from ancient shrines and palaces to contemporary design museums and Akihabara electronic market.
Quaint Yamashiro, about an hour from Kanazawa, is a place famed for hot springs dating back 1,300 years, and nowhere is this history better experienced than at Beniya Mukayu, a traditional ryokan whose Zen-like quality ensures a uniquely memorable experience. Each of the ryokan’s 17 rooms has the minimalist feel of a traditional ryokan, as well as a private open-air bath overlooking a well-manicured Japanese garden. A stay at Beniya Mukayu is a holistic experience; from tea ceremonies with the ryokan’s owner to yoga sessions with his wife, your stay can be a cultivated lesson in Japan’s many methods of relaxation. Other highlights include a spa with medicinal and traditional treatments, as well as traditional kaiseki dining. From Kanazawa, Beniya Mukayu is a one-hour drive or a 30-minute express train ride followed by a 15-minute car ride.
Located in the heart of Kanazawa, the Nikko Kanazawa Hotel is a bastion of modern luxury in one of the best-preserved ancient towns in Japan. With 254 Guest rooms and a few exclusive suites, the Nikko Kanazawa is designed with an eye towards artistry, incorporating minimalist interior design with artistic accents from young, local artists. Wining and dining options include: Le Grand Chariot, a jazz lounge and bar; Vol de Nuit bar; Icho for Japanese Teppanyaki; Toh Lee, authentic Chinese and dim sum; Benkei, an upscale sushi lounge; The Fountain café; and The Garden House, featuring an international buffet. Hotel amenities include Internet connectivity in all rooms, a pool and a fitness center with Jacuzzi and sauna, a spa with aromatherapy and traditional Japanese treatments, boutique stores, a salon, and a florist. The Nikko Kanazawa Hotel is approximately 45 minutes by car from Komatsu airport (KMQ), with service from Tokyo Haneda (HND).